Cheese sauce

Wheat-free option

Cheese sauce is one of the few recipes that I remember learning to make in school, under the supervision of a very mardy nun. A good cheese sauce is something that I struggled to make when we made a move to clean eating. When l came up with a clean version of a traditional recipe, my aim is always to make it as close as possible to the real thing as l can. For some reason, the most simple recipes always seem to be the hardest to get right. This cheese sauce was no exception. After a lot of trial and error, I discovered that buckwheat is the best option.

Buckwheat isn’t wheat

It is strange, but it is true, buckwheat is not a grain. It is actually related to rhubarb, of all things. I’ve been cooking with buckwheat groats and buckwheat flour for a while now. ‘love how diverse it is, and I’m a big fan of the favour buckwheat adds to dishes. While working on this recipe, I discovered that a little bit of buckwheat four goes a very long way. Buckwheat is great to thicken sauces and gravies as it doesn’t clump the way tapioca does. The bonus with buckwheat is you use a lot less than you would with wheat flours.

Put it on anything

If you ask me, there are no rules for cheese sauce; it is excellent over the top of most steamed vegetables and that special topping on a lasagne.

Cheese sauce
Cheese sauce

Cheese sauce recipe

Ingredients 

  • 500ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp. buckwheat flour 
  • 50g butter 
  • 100g cheese, grated 
Cheese sauce ingredients
Cheese sauce ingredients
Take a large saucepan.
Take a large saucepan.
Add the butter to a saucepan.
Add the butter to a saucepan.
Wait for the butter to melt. 
Wait for the butter to melt. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.
When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.

Cheese sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

There are no rules for cheese sauce; it is excellent over the top of most steamed vegetables and that special topping on a lasagne.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 500ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp. buckwheat flour 
  • 50g butter 
  • 100g cheese, grated 

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan.
  2. Add the butter to a saucepan, wait for the butter to melt. 
  3. Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk.
  5. Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
  6. Turn off the heat.
  7. Stir in the cheese.
  8. When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 149 calories; 10.5 g fat; 8.5 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein

Equipment

  • Measuring spoons
  • Scales
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Grater 

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Chicken cranberry salad

What a week

It has been a busy week. With the world going insane we had to cancel our holiday plans and opt for a staycation in Auckland. Basically, that meant we hadn’t done any food shopping so our meal options were somewhat limited. I had no intention of going near a supermarket and dealing with the insane humans buying toilet paper. A quick raid of the fridge, I discovered some sour cream that was on its way out, so I wanted to come up with a way to use it up. Some pre-cooked chicken out of the freezer and we were in business.

Chicken cranberry salad

Salad with dressing

Over the last year, there has been a shift in how the family feel about salads. I now have a list of five salads that everyone is on board with eating. The common feature of the salads that everyone likes is a creaming dressing or sauce. With creamy dressings seem to be the ones that are most loved around here so this salad is a winner. The simple combination of mayo, sour cream and lemon juice give the rest of the salad a nice coating without overpowering the other favours.

Chicken cranberry salad recipe

Chicken cranberry salad ingredients
Chicken cranberry salad ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  easy mayo
  • 1/4  cup  sour cream
  • 1  tsp.  lemon juice
  • 1  tbsp.  parsley
  • 3  cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4  cup  celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4  cup  apple, finely chopped
  • 1/3  cup  dried cranberries
  • 1/3  cup  sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl add the easy mayo
Sour cream
Lemon juice
Parsley
Whisk together
Add the chicken, apple and celery.
Mix well
Add the cranberries and sunflower seeds
Mix well
Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce

Chicken cranberry salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

It has been a busy week and still far too warm to be spending hours in the kitchen making meals. I had some sour cream in the fridge that was on its way out so I wanted to come up with a way to use it up.'


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup easy mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and parsley.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 299 calories; 24 g fat; 10 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein.

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Chorizo chilli eggs

Chorizo chilli eggs

Breakfast for dinner

Eggs have to be one of the best ingredients you can find in your kitchen. I don’t think they should be breakfast only food; they are an anytime food. I know it may seem strange, but I like having breakfast for dinner, I don’t care if it makes me odd, I like it.

A little bit spicy

While I like the versatility of eggs, they generally don’t have a lot going for them in the flavour department, that means you can get creative with the additions to your eggs. For this recipe, I went with some spicy to go with my eggs. The first subtle spicy comes from a lovely bit of chorizo sausage; the spring onions add a little bit of crunch to the dish and the chilli flakes add the final kick to the eggs. It is a simple dish that takes minutes to make but actually looks a bit fancy.

Chorizo chilli eggs

Chorizo chilli eggs ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo, cubed
  • 1 tsp. chilli flakes
Heat some oil or butter over a medium heat
Add the chorizo to the pan
Add the eggs to the pan
Add the spring onions
Serve hot

Chorizo chilli eggs

  • Servings: 2
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Eggs have to be one of the best ingredients you can find in your kitchen. This recipe is too good to only have for breakfast.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo, cubed
  • 1 tsp. chilli flakes

Directions

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat add some oil and the cubed chorizo.
  2. Fry the chorizo until it begins to colour then add the beaten eggs to the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat and gently cook the eggs.
  4. Add the spring onions and chilli flakes to the eggs while they are cooking, you are aiming for a scrambled egg consistency.
  5. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 425 calories; 32 g fat; 4 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein.

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Fork
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Scales

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Primal fudge

Something naughty but nice 

Fudge, yes, it is an excellent replacement word when you are around the kids, but I have another fudge alternative for you to enjoy. 

Fudge is one of those fantastic sweet treats I remember from childhood, my Dandy often had fudge and toffee for Christmas, and I loved to share it with him. 

In the past I probably could have happily munched a packet of fudge easily, nowadays I do not think I could deal with the sugar coma.  

Sweet without the sugar 

This recipe was born from a desire to enjoy the flavour of fudge without the truckload of sugar. When we made a move to remove sugar from our lives as much as possible, I noticed a change in my taste buds. What once was just a sweet treat is now so sickly sweet, I can’t eat it. 

I like to look for alternatives that mean I get all the flavour without any of the adverse effects of ingredients that don’t agree with me. For this recipe I swapped out the sugar for honey, this created a delicate balance of sweet but not too sweet with all the rich flavour you get with original fudge. 

Kid approved 

The final hurdle I usually have any new recipe is if the kids will like it. Sometimes they like a recipe, but the response can be lukewarm, they eat what I have made, but it takes a few days for them to work their way through everything. 

This is not one of those recipes. This fudge didn’t last the weekend; the fudge was nabbed out of the fridge after lunch, as a refuel when they got back from the play park and after dinner. These treats are little boy (and big boy) approved. 

Primal fudge recipe 

Primal fudge ingredients
Primal fudge ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder 
  • 1/2 cup seed butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder 
Place the cacao powder in a large bowl.
Place the cacao powder in a large bowl.
Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the bowl.
Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the bowl.
Mix well with a spatula.
Mix well with a spatula.
Add the seed butter to the bowl.
Add the seed butter to the bowl.
Mix well.
Mix well.
Take a silicone cupcake pan.
Take a silicone cupcake pan.
Pour the mix into the cupcake pan.
Pour the mix into the cupcake pan.
If you want to add something for some crunch put it in the bottom of the cupcake pan.
If you want to add something for some crunch put it in the bottom of the cupcake pan.
Primal fudge ready for eating.
Primal fudge ready for eating.

Primal fudge

  • Servings: 24
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Fudge, yes it is an excellent replacement word when you are around the kids, but I have another fudge alternative for you to enjoy.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder 
  • 1/2 cup seed butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder 

Directions

  1. Melt coconut oil either in the microwave or in a saucepan. 
  2. Don’t overheat the coconut oil, it should be liquid not bubbling. 
  3. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend them together.
  4. Alternatively you can mix by hand.
  5. Add the cacao powder in a large mixing bowl
  6. Add the melted coconut oil and mix with a spatula.
  7. Add the seed butter to the bowl.
  8. Mix well.Mix well.
  9. Pour the mix into paper-lined muffin tin cups /silicone muffin cups.
  10. Fill each cup halfway.
  11. Place the muffin cups in the fridge for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes. 
  12. Pop the fudge out once it is set.
  13. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Per Serving: 89 calories; 7 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; g protein

Equipment 

  • Saucepan 
  • Food processor 
  • Muffin tin or silicone muffin cups
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Porkips

Meat chips 

You may have already figured out that meat is a huge deal in our house; our family motto may need to be meat with everything. Protein-rich snacks are a firm favourite for everyone including the cat. 

We all know chips and dips are awesome, the downside is the bloating and carb coma. Enter the salty alternative to standard chips – porkips. 

Pork whats? 

These chips are just meat. They are crunchy and salty goodness. I usually break out these bad boys for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. They last about 5 minutes once they are done, they are easy to make and if you can stop them being eaten as is go great with dips. 

Porkip recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 slices of prosciutto di Parma

Porkips

  • Servings: 20
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

salty alternative to standard chips - porkips.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 10 slices of prosciutto di Parma

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper; layout slices on the baking paper
  3. Bake for 10/15 minutes until crunchy then allow them to cool (if you can)
  4. If they get to a point where they have cooled they are good to eat (you have also managed to get much further than we do), if they survive the day you can store them in an airtight container for about 4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 122 calories; 7.5 g fat; 0 g carbohydrates; 13.5 g protein

Equipment

  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper or a silicone liner 
  • Cooling rack

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


White chilli

Simple meals don’t have to be boring  

I have been on a mission to make simple and tasty meals. I aim to create recipes that can be prepared and cooked quickly on a busy weeknight. We all struggle to make healthy and delicious meals while keeping on top of everything else in life. So, this recipe is designed to be healthy, delicious and easy to make. You can cook this meal in a single pan. The preparation takes no more than 20 minutes and is portioned to feed four adults.  

Fun fact time

We eat a lot of chilli, that isn’t an exaggeration, we have chilli almost every day. It might sound repetitive, but it works for us. Red chilli is a great freezer option that we have spent more of the year eating chilli for lunch and easy weeknight meals. Every now and then it is nice to have something a little bit different.

Bean free zone

I know that chilli is supposed to have beans in it, but they really don’t agree with me, so our chilli never has them in. This white chilli is made with juicy chunks of chicken and a creamy broth. The blend of spice and creamy sauce is an excellent alternative to the traditional red chilli.

White chicken chilli recipe

White chicken chilli ingredients
White chicken chilli ingredients

Ingredients

  • 700g chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 250g jalapenos
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Take a large stock pot.
Take a large stock pot.
Season the chicken.
Season the chicken.
Sear the chicken.
Sear the chicken.
Sear both sides of the chicken.
Sear both sides of the chicken.
Add the chicken broth.
Add the chicken broth.
Bring the broth to a simmer.
Bring the broth to a simmer.
Cover the pot and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes.
Cover the pot and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes.
Melt the butter in a skillet.
Melt the butter in a skillet.
Add the peppers.
Add the peppers.
Add the chilli.
Add the chilli.
Add the onions.
Add the onions.
Cook the vegetables until they are softened.
Cook the vegetables until they are softened.
Add the garlic.
Add the garlic.
When the chicken is cooked shred it with a fork.
When the chicken is cooked shred it with a fork.
Add the vegetables to the stock pot.
Add the vegetables to the stock pot.
Mix in the cream.
Mix in the cream.
Mix in the softened cream cheese.
Mix in the softened cream cheese.
Stir quickly.
Stir quickly.
Simmer for another 15 minutes before serving.
Simmer for another 15 minutes before serving.

White chicken chilli

  • Servings: 6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 700g chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 250g jalapeños
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with ground cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large stockpot sear both sides the chicken over a medium heat.
  3. When both sides of the chicken are golden brown, add the chicken broth to the pot.
  4. Bring the broth up to simmer.
  5. Put a lid on the pot.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. While chicken is cooking, melt butter in a medium skillet.
  8. Add chillies, diced jalapeno, green pepper and onion to skillet and sauté until veggies soften.
  9. Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds and turn off the heat, set aside.
  10. Once the chicken is fully cooked, shred with a fork and add back into the broth.
  11. Add sautéed veggies to pot with the chicken and the broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese in microwave until you can stir it in.
  13. Mix the cream cheese with heavy whipping cream.
  14. Stirring quickly, add the mixture into the pot with chicken and veggies.
  15. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  16. Serve with favourite toppings such as cheese, avocado slices, fresh coriander, sour cream.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 437 calories; 19 g fat; 10 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein

Equipment

  • Stockpot
  • Tongs
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Skillet
  • Bowl
  • Fork 
  • Scales
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Quick bread

Bread 

Bread is a funny thing. It is one of the very few foods that I know does not agree with me that I still crave regularly, I try my very best to avoid it, but some meals just feel incomplete without it.  Burgers are one of those meals. I love a salad bun, but sometimes I want a burger bun.  

Quick bread
Quick bread

Time to experiment

I’ve experimented with different recipes and gluten-free, grain-free flours but never felt satisfied with the end result. Until now.  These little ‘bread’ rounds are made from egg and cream cheese, they are amazing. Don’t get me wrong they are not ‘like’ bread, they are nothing like bread, they are better than bread.

It’s bread Jim but not as we know it

Sorry, my geek was showing again. Now with the Star Trek reference out of the way lets get back to the bread.  They might look like a squished meringue, but I can assure you they are not. They can stand up to a burger and make a great sandwich option. They don’t break apart when you pick them up or crumble while you eat them. The structural integrity of these little bread rounds is impressive. They have stood up to melted cheese, sauerkraut and even sliced tomatoes.  If you are looking for an easy replacement for a slice of bread, give these bad boys a go.

Quick bread recipe

Quick bread ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 Tbsp. cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
In one bowl add the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder.
In one bowl add the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder.
In another bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar.
In another bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar.
Whisk until the whites are fluffy and form stiff peaks.
Whisk until the whites are fluffy and form stiff peaks.
whisk together the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder until smooth.
Whisk together the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder.
whisk together the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder until smooth.
whisk together the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder until smooth.
Take one tablespoon of the egg whites and mix it into the egg yolk mix.
Take one tablespoon of the egg whites and mix it into the egg yolk mix.
Slowly fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, try not to break down the egg whites too much.
Slowly fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, try not to break down the egg whites too much.
Try not to break down the egg whites too much.
Try not to break down the egg whites too much.
Bread mix
Bread mix
Spoon the mixture into 12 even disks.
Spoon the mixture into 12 even disks.
Spoon the mixture into 12 even disks.
Spoon the mixture into 12 even disks.
Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven.
Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before eating.
Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before eating.

Quick bread

  • Servings: 12
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This keto friendly bread is easy to make and a great alternative for traditional bread



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp. cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C 300 degrees F
  2. Separate the eggs; there must be no yolk in the white.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream cheese and garlic powder until smooth.
  4. In another bowl whisk, together the cream of tartar and the whites; whisk until the whites are fluffy and form stiff peaks.
  5. Take one tablespoon of the egg whites and mix it into the egg yolk mix.
  6. Slowly fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, try not to break down the egg whites too much.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  8. Spoon the mixture into 12 even disks.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven.
  10. Move the tray to the top of the oven for a minute to colour the bread, make sure to watch so that the bread does not burn.
  11. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before eating.
  12. This bread will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 58 calories; 2 g fat; 6 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein

Equipment

  • Fork
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • 2 bowls
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Cookie cutter for discs
  • Cooling racks
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Waldorf salad

Easy make ahead salad 

It is a summer of salads!! The warm months mean lots of fresh veggies and endless possibilities for salad. Anyone that knows me knows I could eat salad for every meal, I love them, lots. Most of the time I stick with the simple mixture of protein, lettuce leaves, crunchy veg and a simple dressing. On occasion, I like to make something a little fancier. 

Classic Waldorf salad 

The original version of the Waldorf salad was made with apples, celery and mayonnaise. Later on, chopped walnuts were added to the dish and became integral. Every time I have seen Waldorf on a menu, it had walnuts included, thanks to my stupid nut allergy I have never had the pleasure of enjoying the salad. Until now. 

Switch it up 

Regular visitors here will know I can’t leave things alone, I have to mess around with recipes and switch out ingredients. The Waldorf salad was a prime candidate for me to mess with. First up was an alternative to walnuts. As with many recipes, I find that switching out nuts with sunflower seeds, this means you get all the crunch with no risk of death. Next up was bumping up the protein. Generally speaking, I have a high protein diet so having meat as part of my salad is essential. In this instance, I went with some cooked and cooled chicken. 

Meal prep winner 

This salad is one of my favourites for mixing up a big batch and portioning out for meals for the week. I like to make a double batch of the salad and keep it in the fridge ready for lunches, snacks and easy dinners when it is too hot to make a meal. 

Chicken Waldorf salad recipe

Ingredients 

Chicken Waldorf salad ingredients
Chicken Waldorf salad ingredients
  • 2 cups of cooked diced chicken 
  • 1 apple, diced 
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 1 cup grapes, halved 
  • 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds 
  • 1/4 cup easy mayo
  • 2 tsp. lime juice 
  • 2 tsp. honey 
  • salt and pepper 
Chicken Waldorf salad
Chicken Waldorf salad
Chicken Waldorf salad

Chicken Waldorf salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

A nut-free take on this classic salad



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked diced chicken 
  • 1 apple, diced 
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 1 cup grapes, halved 
  • 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds 
  • 1/4 cup easy mayo 
  • 2 tsp. lime juice 
  • 2 tsp. honey 
  • salt and pepper 

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine chicken, apple, celery, and seeds. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, and honey. 
  3. Season to taste. 
  4. Spoon dressing over chicken salad and toss to coat. 

Nutrition

Per Serving: 262 calories; 10.6 g fat; 9.4 g carbohydrates; 11.4 g protein

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Kombucha tea

Kombucha

I don’t profess to know the origins of Kombucha, there any many theories about who came up with it. To be honest, I don’t mind who invented it, I’m just interested in the benefits it offers.

So you may be asking yourself, what is Kombucha?

The basic answer is Kombucha is fermented tea, don’t worry; it is not as gross as it sounds. 

Kombucha

Here is the bro science explanation.

To make kombucha, you need sweetened black or green tea and a SCOBY. SCOBY short for symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast, is a jellyfish looking thing that you put in the tea. The bacteria and yeast munch on the sugar in the tea which causes the fermentation of the tea. It’s similar to making beer but with better health benefits. The sugar in the tea is there only to feed the SCOBY. Some commercial brands of Kombucha are high in sugar; this is usually to mask the sour taste of the finished Kombucha.

Many people claim Kombucha is a cure-all. I don’t really buy into these claims, what I do buy into is that Kombucha is full of probiotics and these are great for you.

Probiotics

We all know that antibiotics are important when you have an infection. They don’t just wipe out the bacteria that cause infections, they wipe out all of the good bacteria in your gut. We all have good bacteria in our gut, and it’s crucial for a healthy immune system. 

I have to say that Kombucha has done wonders for the immune systems in our house, even the kids slam down a glass. 

I will be honest, Kombucha is an acquired taste, but it’s a taste worth acquiring. It’s tart and fizzy, once you get past the smell which is far stronger than the taste you will be sold on it.

One major drawback of Kombucha is the cost when buying it; a litre can set you back as much as $15. If everyone in the family grabs a glass daily it quickly becomes very expensive.

Make your own

There is a much cheaper way to have kombucha, and that is by brewing your own, don’t worry it is not as complicated as you might think. The key to brewing your own is a good SCOBY and a starter. (you can get one here)

Equipment needed is minimal.

  • A saucepan or stock pot
  • A jar large enough to hold the kombucha
  • Cheesecloth or clean tea towel
  • Rubber bands

That’s it

In a large stock pot bring 2-4 litres of water to the boil.
In a large stock pot bring 2-4 litres of water to the boil.
2 litres use 4-6 tea bags or 4 litres use 8-12 tea bags
2 litres use 4-6 tea bags or 4 litres use 8-12 tea bags
When the sugar has dissolved add in your tea bags
When the sugar has dissolved add in your tea bags
When the tea bags have been added leave the tea to cool to room temperature
When the tea bags have been added leave the tea to cool to room temperature
When the tea is at room temperature pour it into a jar or container
When the tea is at room temperature pour it into a jar or container
When the tea is at room temperature pour it into a jar or container
When the tea is at room temperature pour it into a jar or container
Add the scoby to the jar with approximately 250ml of the kombucha starter.
Add the scoby to the jar with approximately 250ml of the kombucha starter.
Cover the top of the jar with a clean cloth and secure the cloth with some string or an elastic band.
Cover the top of the jar with a clean cloth and secure the cloth with some string or an elastic band.
Cover the top of the jar with a clean cloth and secure the cloth with some string or an elastic band.
Cover the top of the jar with a clean cloth and secure the cloth with some string or an elastic band.
New scabby on the kombucha brew
New scabby on the kombucha brew
Kombucha ready to bottle
Kombucha ready to bottle

So here is what to do.

How to make kombucha

The brew

In a large stock pot bring 2-4 litres of water to the boil.

When the water is at a rolling boil turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 1 cup of white sugar.

If you want sweet kombucha use 1 cup per 2 litres, for less sweet kombucha add 1/2 cup per 2 litres.

When the sugar has dissolved add in your tea bags

  • 2 litres use 4-6 tea bags
  • 4 litres use 8-12 tea bags

You can use plain black tea or a mixture of black and green tea bags.

When the tea bags have been added leave the tea to cool to room temperature (I usually leave the tea overnight to cool in the stock pot with the lid on).

The ferment

When the tea is at room temperature pour it into a jar or container, I recommend using a large glass jar with a tap on it (like the one below).

Add the scoby to the jar with approximately 250ml of the kombucha starter.

Be warned every scoby has a mind of its own, some float, some sink, some sit sideways. You will grow a new scoby every time you brew and that will have a mind of its own as well.

Cover the top of the jar with a clean cloth and secure the cloth with some string or an elastic band.

Put the jar is a warm place but away from direct sunlight.

Leave the tea for about a week how long it takes to brew will depend on how warm your house is.

A good indicator that your tea is close to ready is that you have a new scoby forming on the top of the tea. The new scoby will look like patches of jelly to start, then it will look like a film on the top of your tea, then it will look like a skinny version of your scoby. At this point you can start to taste the tea.

When you get the tang you want it is ready to bottle, put it in a sterilised bottle and store it in the fridge.

Make sure you save 250ml as a starter for your next batch and make sure you leave some liquid for the scoby to live in. The scoby will use the liquid to get bigger even when you are not brewing kombucha, check on it regularly to make sure it does not dry out.

Carbonation

If you want a fizzy kombucha you can carbonate it.

If you do want to carbonate you will need to use a plastic bottle to make it easier to check the carbonation level.

Fill the bottles as much as possible, when filled, seal the bottles and put them out of direct sunlight at room temperature. It will take a few days for carbonation to get started.

Don’t carbonate your kombucha unless you are home to check them twice a day they will explode and make your house smell funky.

When you use a plastic bottle it is easy to check for carbonation, check the bottle twice a day, when the bottle becomes hard it is carbonated.

As soon as the kombucha is carbonated put all of the bottles in the fridge.

The bigger your scoby gets the more natural carbonation you will get without having to do the additional step.


Kale chips

Revisiting family favourites

I’ve been revisiting recipes that have been some of my old school recipes and family favourites that were our staples when we got started as clean eaters. I first posted this recipe in 2015, at that time, the kids were fussy, vegetables had to be hidden and disguised, and there was no potential for intense flavours or spice.
Times (thankfully) have changed, the kids have grown (like man-sized grown), and they now enjoy a wide range of foods. Things like vegetables are enjoyed, spice and chilli are consumed without complaint, and new ingredients are tried without tantrums. As the kids have grown my recipes have changes organically to meet their palates and preferences, I’ve updated this recipe because of that, but fear not, all I have done is make it a little bit better.

Kale chips fresh from the oven and ready for eating

A surprise request

I like kale, I have for a very long time, but green vegetables haven’t always been a favourite in our house. Can you imagine my surprise when Liam, the child that hated all vegetables, one weekend asked out of the blue if he could have some kale chips? I was glad I was sitting down when he asked otherwise I may have fallen over. When Liam asked for them, I was more than happy to make him a nice healthy snack.

A family staple

Since that first request, kale chips have been something of a staple when it comes to snacking. Over the years we have experimented with different flavours for the family, here are a few of our favourites

  • paprika and chilli
  • ginger and lime
  • chipotle and coriander

Kale chips recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Kale chips

  • Servings: 4
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

These kale chips are a healthy snack option that will keep the entire family happy.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/ 300 degrees F
  2. Line a tray with baking paper or a silicone liner.
  3. Remove the centre stems and either tear or cut up the leaves.
  4. In a bowl put the oil and salt then add the kale.
  5. Toss everything together in the bowl, so all the leaves are coated in oil.
  6. Spread on a baking tray, you may need to use two, depending on the amount of kale.
  7. Bake at 150 degrees for 15 minutes or until crisp.
  8. Eat them when they are fresh out of the oven otherwise, they get a bit chewy.Eat them when they are fresh out of the oven otherwise, they get a bit chewy.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 94 calories; 7.3 g fat; 6.7 g carbohydrates; 2.2 g protein


Flavours

Here are the ingredient for some alternatives. You can add the extra flavours when you toss the kale in the oil.

  • 1 tsp. paprika and 1/2 tsp. ground chill
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger and 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander and 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper or silicone liner
  • Tongs

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.